Plans emerge for multiple design embassies at LDF

The London Design Embassy may be renamed the British Design Embassy and appear at several locations across London in this year’s London Design Festival, Design Week understands.

Tent London co-director Jimmy MacDonald says one of the embassies could be hosted at Tent London. He adds that this is one of a number
of changes looked at for Tent London this year.

Backed by UK Trade & Industry in an arrangement that ’does include some financial support’, Tent Digital will have a larger footprint, and Origin: The London Craft Fair will be brought under the Tent banner, says MacDonald. The move was necessary to ensure the viability of Tent’s digital arm, which is ’a non-commercial component’, MacDonald says.

In addition, MacDonald says Tent may host one of several ’British Design Embassies’. The business matchmaking service, set up Christine Losecaat, UKTI creative industries adviser, looks to engage the design community with the international business community. Losecaat, who was unavailable for comment, last year passed control of the event to LDF.

A spokesperson for UKTI confirms that the LDF continues to run the London Design Embassy, although LDF deputy director Will Knight maintains that LDF, UKTI, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the London Development Agency have an equal influence on the direction of the 2010 London Design Embassy. Knight is unable to confirm that the London Design Embassy will change its name or appear at multiple locations, though he conceded it was ’being discussed’. He says, ’We’re working in partnership to deliver embassy concepts – it’s not something done in isolation.’

A source suggests the name change is to make the embassy less London-centric and more reflective of the international focus of the LDF. Although this notion is not supported by Knight, he says there will be ’much more international focus at this year’s festival’.

Tent London is to take ownership of Origin (2010 campaign image pictured) from the Crafts Council. It will be relocated to Old Spitalfields Market from Somerset House and brought in line with the LDF calendar – it previously ran in October. ’Tent and Origin share an audience and can benefit from each other,’ says MacDonald, who plans to cross-promote the events and ensure Origin is the ’definitive craft fair at LDF’.

Tent Digital will occupy ’a more defined space’ in the Truman Brewery, where gaming and online social media platforms will have a stronger presence. ’We’re also hoping to get Philips Research Lab down, too,’ says MacDonald.

Origin and Tent Digital

Origin: The London Craft Fair will be hosted by Tent London this year, rather than by the Crafts Council, and housed at Old Spitalfields Market

Tent Digital will be partly funded by UKTI and given a more distinct presence at the Truman Brewery. It will invite gaming and social media commissions in addition to interactive pieces

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